May 4, 2021

3 Social Media Management Mistakes for Insurance Marketers to Avoid


The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Letting agents fly solo.

Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

2. Kicking it old-school.

Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

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May 4, 2021

3 Social Media Management Mistakes for Insurance Marketers to Avoid


The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Letting agents fly solo.

Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

2. Kicking it old-school.

Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

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SIMILAR POSTS:

The insurance industry is built on relationships — so much so that, before the pandemic, 90% of sales conversations and 70% of ongoing customer conversations happened face-to-face. Things today look quite different: Only 5% of agents say they’re talking to customers in person.

Digitizing marketing operations became a top priority for companies in the insurance industry almost overnight. Not only is the landscape in the midst of significant change for nearly every customer segment, but the use of digital channels is also accelerating due to the pandemic. Some insurance companies might even take a digital-first approach to sales as a result, with consumers choosing to seek advice from advisors through video calls or live chat.

Insurance marketers need to move beyond traditional techniques and arm agents with the tools to effectively communicate and convert prospective customers in the digital space. How to go about doing this will depend on the company as well as its target audiences, but here are a few elements for every insurance marketer to keep in mind:

1. Never lose the human touch.

Trust is paramount in the insurance industry, but as more customer interactions occur online, companies will have to try harder to build and maintain it. One recent Accenture survey of insurance consumers found that only 12% said they placed a lot of trust in automated services over phone, web, or email when making a claim, and only 7% said the same about chatbots. However, nearly half said they would trust a human advisor. To avoid eroding trust with digitization efforts, you must put the human element front and center in every digital interaction.

Social media is an excellent way to do this, but we’re not only talking about a big company brand page. To establish and maintain connections via social channels, encourage advisors to use their own professional accounts. An advisor’s professional accounts generally have 10 times the reach of company profiles, and they’re also more likely to improve customer engagement, as the interactions are coming from a human rather than from a brand.

Customers value authentic human connections: Life insurance customers who had interaction with their insurers had Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than customers who had no interaction at all.

2. Reevaluate the customers’ digital journeys.

Social media is the place for agents to start conversations and get prospects’ attention digitally, but it’s only the starting point in a larger customer journey. Audit the tools that agents are currently using, and assess how each individual channel contributes to the larger customer journey.

If the majority of an agent’s social posts are just graphics or text, they’re not leading prospects anywhere — they’re just building social media dead ends. To lead prospects to the next step in a digital journey, build landing pages on your website that agents can link to in their social posts. When prospects follow the post to the landing page, they take a meaningful next step in the digital journey with your brand to engage and learn more.

3. Personalize your approach.

Personalization is the name of the game in digital marketing. The problem is, some insurers are more “cut-and-paste” with online interactions, sending out messages and promotions built for the masses.

In the Accenture survey above, 66% of insurance consumers said they would be willing to share personal data for more personalized services to prevent injury and loss. With that in mind, it’s clear how a broad approach misses many potential prospects. Work toward personalizing the digital experience for a variety of target audiences by providing valuable content tailored to their specific needs and develop landing pages geared toward each of your audience sectors. It’s not a one-size-fits-all customer journey, so don’t treat it as such.

Changing marketing tactics is no small undertaking. It requires time, resources, and know-how to do successfully. Social media management tools from Denim Social can help get agents active on social media at scale, put human faces behind the brand name, and build online customer journeys based on trust.

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

In speaking with friends, co-workers and bankers, I have come across many reasons why more of us are not effectively using social media: not enough time, concerns about compliance and lack of knowledge top the list.

In banking, we are the relationship builders, the trusted sources and the personal interaction—whether in-person or via social, video, chat or other mediums. So how do we bridge the gap between in-person and digital interactions? How do we display our personality digitally while balancing compliance concerns? How do we personalize digital outreach and engagement through curated content and social media channels in order to educate customers and engage new prospects?

Banks’ retail customers and business clients expect personalized experiences. Using social media in a compliant way for bankers to engage with customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. According to Denim Social, ABA’s endorsed social media management platform, building a personalized and human digital experience is key, and the best place to start doing it is on social media. Informative and educational content is a fantastic entry point into a digital journey, as it starts by engaging prospects and building trust.

People trust people, and banks that have individual employees actively using social media on behalf of the bank’s brand are seeing results. Even when sharing the same content, on average employees see a click-through rate twice as high as their company’s own social channels see, according to LinkedIn. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed by the Harris Poll say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.

Here’s a simple process to make social selling work in a bank context:

  • Marketing teams easily curate and share educational, compliant content in a pre-approved digital library.
  • Then employees access the approved content and share through their own, personal digital channels.
  • Approval workflows and compliance checks along the way ensure the posts meet both the bank’s compliance and branding requirements.

Employee posts are a complement to, not a substitute for, paid social media, which enables marketers to create and target paid ads specific to demographics, geography and more. Imagine creating educational content for a demographic of first-time homebuyers. Your loan officer shares savings tips, homeownership information and educational content on their social channels, establishing expertise and developing relationships along the way. Paid ads ensure the right homebuyers see the content.

According to IBM, when a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy, that lead is seven times more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics. Through this digital relationship, your loan officer has engaged in social selling and is reaching new markets—all without leaving the comfort of their home, their office or (these days) their home office.

This article was originally published by ABA Bank Marketing.

Lisa Gold Schier is an SVP at ABA, where she leads the ABA Endorsed Solutions team and business innovation.

As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

You can’t just call yourself a “thought leader.” Thought leadership is earned, and you earn it by having a powerful voice in your domain. But how do you cultivate that voice? To answer that question, James Robert Lay of the Digital Growth Institute invited Doug Wilber, CEO at Denim Social, onto the latest episode to discuss how financial brands can create content worthy of the “thought leader” mantle.

So you've invested the time, energy, and money into building a website that details all of your financial products and services, and you have a solid social media strategy in place — but do you have any means of connecting the two? A full digital marketing strategy requires a connection point to lead prospects along the digital journey and toward conversion. Landing pages can serve as the bridges you need.

These pages live on your website and hold information geared toward specific audience segments. For example, if an insurance agent is interested in helping first-time homebuyers with homeowners insurance, a social media post on the subject could include a link to a landing page on your website with even more resources for new buyers.

Landing pages are important because no matter how well-built your website homepage is, it simply can’t serve the needs of every consumer — not conveniently, at least. Without landing pages, site visitors arrive on the homepage and are left to dig through the site for specific information on their own. Landing pages, on the other hand, allow visitors to arrive at your site in the exact place they want to be. It’s the best way for financial institution marketers to quickly and easily offer content that meets the specific needs of various target audiences.

Customers want this level of personalization, and they're open to the idea of trading their information for it. In fact, more than three-quarters of consumers in one study said they would be willing to give more personal data in return for more tailored services. When customers submit their contact information through a form to download the content on your landing page, not only are they getting tailored content, but you're getting data that can fuel more personalized outreach directly to primed prospects. And that leads to higher conversion rates.

Start creating landing pages by planning a page for each promotion in your overall marketing campaign or for each of your target audiences. Then, we recommend the following steps to drive conversion:

1. Keep it simple and direct.

Ultimately, the goal of a landing page for financial institutions is to learn more about prospects by gathering their information in the form field. For visitors, the clearer the path to the field, the likelier they will be to share their data. Don’t fill a page with too many images, multiple offers, and other clutter — you’ll just increase the chances of visitors bouncing off the page before taking action. Instead, stick with concise, clear messaging, easy-to-follow directives, strong calls to action, and impactful design elements.


2. Leverage pre-built, fully customizable templates.

Few marketing professionals have the bandwidth or experience to build a whole webpage on their own. Fortunately, software like Denim Social with landing page functionality will offer pre-built, customizable templates that allow you to start with a page already optimized for conversion.


From there, you can easily customize the content, form fields, colors, images, and video on each page to fit your campaign goals. The key here is to keep a consistent style across pages so each one fits under your overall brand umbrella.

3. Scale, scale, scale!

The real beauty of using pre-built, customizable templates is the ability to design, build, and launch landing pages at scale. Denim Social’s code-free interface makes it easy for anyone to populate many templates with customized elements — no web design expertise required. Just personalize, publish, then easily iterate and adjust based on conversion data.

In practice, this looks like building hundreds or even thousands of highly professional landing pages in just minutes. That’s a lot more opportunity for targeted messaging than one broad website homepage on its own.

Landing pages are one of the most effective tools at your disposal to create tailored experiences, capture valuable information, and generate high-quality leads. With the right platform, any marketer can build landing pages at scale and propel more prospects toward conversion.

GUIDES

3 Social Media Management Mistakes for Insurance Marketers to Avoid


The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Letting agents fly solo.

Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

2. Kicking it old-school.

Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

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Download Guide
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ALL GUIDES:

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

Financial Services companies should be advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    GUIDES

    3 Social Media Management Mistakes for Insurance Marketers to Avoid


    The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

    Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

    And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

    As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

    Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

    1. Letting agents fly solo.

    Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

    The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

    2. Kicking it old-school.

    Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

    What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

    3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

    When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

    Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

    Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

    It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

    Download the Guide

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    ALL GUIDES:

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

    See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    May 4, 2021

    3 Social Media Management Mistakes for Insurance Marketers to Avoid


    The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

    Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

    And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

    As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

    Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

    1. Letting agents fly solo.

    Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

    The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

    2. Kicking it old-school.

    Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

    What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

    3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

    When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

    Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

    Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

    It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
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    OTHER NEWS:

    The insurance industry is built on relationships — so much so that, before the pandemic, 90% of sales conversations and 70% of ongoing customer conversations happened face-to-face. Things today look quite different: Only 5% of agents say they’re talking to customers in person.

    Digitizing marketing operations became a top priority for companies in the insurance industry almost overnight. Not only is the landscape in the midst of significant change for nearly every customer segment, but the use of digital channels is also accelerating due to the pandemic. Some insurance companies might even take a digital-first approach to sales as a result, with consumers choosing to seek advice from advisors through video calls or live chat.

    Insurance marketers need to move beyond traditional techniques and arm agents with the tools to effectively communicate and convert prospective customers in the digital space. How to go about doing this will depend on the company as well as its target audiences, but here are a few elements for every insurance marketer to keep in mind:

    1. Never lose the human touch.

    Trust is paramount in the insurance industry, but as more customer interactions occur online, companies will have to try harder to build and maintain it. One recent Accenture survey of insurance consumers found that only 12% said they placed a lot of trust in automated services over phone, web, or email when making a claim, and only 7% said the same about chatbots. However, nearly half said they would trust a human advisor. To avoid eroding trust with digitization efforts, you must put the human element front and center in every digital interaction.

    Social media is an excellent way to do this, but we’re not only talking about a big company brand page. To establish and maintain connections via social channels, encourage advisors to use their own professional accounts. An advisor’s professional accounts generally have 10 times the reach of company profiles, and they’re also more likely to improve customer engagement, as the interactions are coming from a human rather than from a brand.

    Customers value authentic human connections: Life insurance customers who had interaction with their insurers had Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than customers who had no interaction at all.

    2. Reevaluate the customers’ digital journeys.

    Social media is the place for agents to start conversations and get prospects’ attention digitally, but it’s only the starting point in a larger customer journey. Audit the tools that agents are currently using, and assess how each individual channel contributes to the larger customer journey.

    If the majority of an agent’s social posts are just graphics or text, they’re not leading prospects anywhere — they’re just building social media dead ends. To lead prospects to the next step in a digital journey, build landing pages on your website that agents can link to in their social posts. When prospects follow the post to the landing page, they take a meaningful next step in the digital journey with your brand to engage and learn more.

    3. Personalize your approach.

    Personalization is the name of the game in digital marketing. The problem is, some insurers are more “cut-and-paste” with online interactions, sending out messages and promotions built for the masses.

    In the Accenture survey above, 66% of insurance consumers said they would be willing to share personal data for more personalized services to prevent injury and loss. With that in mind, it’s clear how a broad approach misses many potential prospects. Work toward personalizing the digital experience for a variety of target audiences by providing valuable content tailored to their specific needs and develop landing pages geared toward each of your audience sectors. It’s not a one-size-fits-all customer journey, so don’t treat it as such.

    Changing marketing tactics is no small undertaking. It requires time, resources, and know-how to do successfully. Social media management tools from Denim Social can help get agents active on social media at scale, put human faces behind the brand name, and build online customer journeys based on trust.

    In speaking with friends, co-workers and bankers, I have come across many reasons why more of us are not effectively using social media: not enough time, concerns about compliance and lack of knowledge top the list.

    In banking, we are the relationship builders, the trusted sources and the personal interaction—whether in-person or via social, video, chat or other mediums. So how do we bridge the gap between in-person and digital interactions? How do we display our personality digitally while balancing compliance concerns? How do we personalize digital outreach and engagement through curated content and social media channels in order to educate customers and engage new prospects?

    Banks’ retail customers and business clients expect personalized experiences. Using social media in a compliant way for bankers to engage with customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. According to Denim Social, ABA’s endorsed social media management platform, building a personalized and human digital experience is key, and the best place to start doing it is on social media. Informative and educational content is a fantastic entry point into a digital journey, as it starts by engaging prospects and building trust.

    People trust people, and banks that have individual employees actively using social media on behalf of the bank’s brand are seeing results. Even when sharing the same content, on average employees see a click-through rate twice as high as their company’s own social channels see, according to LinkedIn. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed by the Harris Poll say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.

    Here’s a simple process to make social selling work in a bank context:

    • Marketing teams easily curate and share educational, compliant content in a pre-approved digital library.
    • Then employees access the approved content and share through their own, personal digital channels.
    • Approval workflows and compliance checks along the way ensure the posts meet both the bank’s compliance and branding requirements.

    Employee posts are a complement to, not a substitute for, paid social media, which enables marketers to create and target paid ads specific to demographics, geography and more. Imagine creating educational content for a demographic of first-time homebuyers. Your loan officer shares savings tips, homeownership information and educational content on their social channels, establishing expertise and developing relationships along the way. Paid ads ensure the right homebuyers see the content.

    According to IBM, when a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy, that lead is seven times more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics. Through this digital relationship, your loan officer has engaged in social selling and is reaching new markets—all without leaving the comfort of their home, their office or (these days) their home office.

    This article was originally published by ABA Bank Marketing.

    Lisa Gold Schier is an SVP at ABA, where she leads the ABA Endorsed Solutions team and business innovation.

    You can’t just call yourself a “thought leader.” Thought leadership is earned, and you earn it by having a powerful voice in your domain. But how do you cultivate that voice? To answer that question, James Robert Lay of the Digital Growth Institute invited Doug Wilber, CEO at Denim Social, onto the latest episode to discuss how financial brands can create content worthy of the “thought leader” mantle.

    So you've invested the time, energy, and money into building a website that details all of your financial products and services, and you have a solid social media strategy in place — but do you have any means of connecting the two? A full digital marketing strategy requires a connection point to lead prospects along the digital journey and toward conversion. Landing pages can serve as the bridges you need.

    These pages live on your website and hold information geared toward specific audience segments. For example, if an insurance agent is interested in helping first-time homebuyers with homeowners insurance, a social media post on the subject could include a link to a landing page on your website with even more resources for new buyers.

    Landing pages are important because no matter how well-built your website homepage is, it simply can’t serve the needs of every consumer — not conveniently, at least. Without landing pages, site visitors arrive on the homepage and are left to dig through the site for specific information on their own. Landing pages, on the other hand, allow visitors to arrive at your site in the exact place they want to be. It’s the best way for financial institution marketers to quickly and easily offer content that meets the specific needs of various target audiences.

    Customers want this level of personalization, and they're open to the idea of trading their information for it. In fact, more than three-quarters of consumers in one study said they would be willing to give more personal data in return for more tailored services. When customers submit their contact information through a form to download the content on your landing page, not only are they getting tailored content, but you're getting data that can fuel more personalized outreach directly to primed prospects. And that leads to higher conversion rates.

    Start creating landing pages by planning a page for each promotion in your overall marketing campaign or for each of your target audiences. Then, we recommend the following steps to drive conversion:

    1. Keep it simple and direct.

    Ultimately, the goal of a landing page for financial institutions is to learn more about prospects by gathering their information in the form field. For visitors, the clearer the path to the field, the likelier they will be to share their data. Don’t fill a page with too many images, multiple offers, and other clutter — you’ll just increase the chances of visitors bouncing off the page before taking action. Instead, stick with concise, clear messaging, easy-to-follow directives, strong calls to action, and impactful design elements.


    2. Leverage pre-built, fully customizable templates.

    Few marketing professionals have the bandwidth or experience to build a whole webpage on their own. Fortunately, software like Denim Social with landing page functionality will offer pre-built, customizable templates that allow you to start with a page already optimized for conversion.


    From there, you can easily customize the content, form fields, colors, images, and video on each page to fit your campaign goals. The key here is to keep a consistent style across pages so each one fits under your overall brand umbrella.

    3. Scale, scale, scale!

    The real beauty of using pre-built, customizable templates is the ability to design, build, and launch landing pages at scale. Denim Social’s code-free interface makes it easy for anyone to populate many templates with customized elements — no web design expertise required. Just personalize, publish, then easily iterate and adjust based on conversion data.

    In practice, this looks like building hundreds or even thousands of highly professional landing pages in just minutes. That’s a lot more opportunity for targeted messaging than one broad website homepage on its own.

    Landing pages are one of the most effective tools at your disposal to create tailored experiences, capture valuable information, and generate high-quality leads. With the right platform, any marketer can build landing pages at scale and propel more prospects toward conversion.

    The pandemic has been a catalyst for quick shifts in the financial services industry, and many of those changes have created more challenges when it comes to compliance. For one, a large portion of financial services workers have transitioned to working remotely, and this isn’t likely to change: Research from PwC shows that even after the pandemic, nearly 70 percent of financial services companies say the majority of their workforces will work from home at least once a week moving forward. For banks, accommodating this new work environment has meant updating digital tools and processes.

    Remote work tools are not the only aspect of digital transformation that banks are taking on. In fact, the virtual shift was already well underway before COVID-19 as consumers sought more digital touchpoints. The pandemic just sped up the process.

    Such fast–paced digital transformation has meant increased risk for missteps and errors that can trigger compliance concerns. As bank marketers look for more ways to make virtual connections, they should keep the following in mind when it comes to navigating increased compliance risks:

    1. Employees are both your greatest asset and your greatest risk.

    When loan officers, financial advisors, and other bank associates cannot meet with clients and prospects in person, social media can be an excellent tool for relationship-building. Employees can also significantly expand a brand’s reach on social. There are regulations to keep in mind around electronic communication, however. FINRA’s rules, for instance, prohibit misleading or promissory statements and claims as well as communication that predicts or projects performance.

    When the world went digital, banks without proper approval processes already nailed down likely felt the crunch as employees began interacting more online. When employees and marketers can’t simply stop by a compliance officer’s desk to ask about social updates or blog post ideas, adjusting approval processes is a must. Banks need an approval framework to ensure that every brand-related social media post from every employee meets brand messaging and regulatory guidelines. The right social media management tools can automate that approval process so that employees can send posts or engagements to the right person with just a click of a button.

    2. A hot mortgage market doesn’t make safety any less important.

    The mortgage market is hotter than ever before as rates reach historic lows. Loan officers are busy helping more clients secure mortgages, and the savvy ones are also using social media to get in front of prospects and capture more business. As business increases, however, so should a bank’s attention on compliance.

    Marketers can keep a close eye on electronic communication using software with keyword filtering capabilities. For example, marketers could flag the word “guarantee” so any social post with that word creates an alert, so no promissory posts go live. Automatic archiving is another excellent software capability when it comes to compliance. When each post and engagement is automatically saved and stored, it’s easy to prove compliance if auditors ever come knocking.

    3. If your marketing department’s growth is limited, optimize your processes.

    Digital transformation may be accelerating quickly in the financial services sphere, but that does not mean marketing or compliance teams are expanding alongside it. Many financial institutions currently lack the resources to expand staff as they navigate revenue-related challenges of the pandemic.

    The roles of marketers and compliance teams, however, are indeed increasing in scope and importance as banks must continue connecting virtually with consumers to guide them through new, digital ways of doing business. The good news is that banks can expand their capabilities without expanding staff or making huge capital expenditures on sophisticated digital tools. Social media is a low-cost, high-ROI option, and there are affordable social media management tools that enable marketers to keep electronic communication within regulatory bounds at scale.

    For institutions that aren’t planning to grow their budgets anytime soon, optimizing marketing and compliance processes is key to connecting digitally with customers while maintaining compliance. Tools that automatically bring red flags to marketers’ attention and make it easy for employees to post approved content will help marketers guide banks safely through this digital transformation and the next.

    Temps may be on the rise, but interest rates are still historically low. Combined with vaccine-fueled reopenings, the spring 2021 real estate market is hotter than ever. Mortgage loan officers are reaping the rewards of the fast-moving market, but they’re also seeing fierce competition. 

    So how does a loan officer stand out and catch the attention of homebuyers? Social media is the answer. Social media has already become an essential part of the mortgage lending business and consumers expect technology to be part of the homebuying process too. 

    Now is the time for financial institutions to unlock the power of loan officers on social media. Here’s where to start: 

    1. ACTIVATE LOAN OFFICERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Social is all about human connections and audiences pay more attention to individual people on social media than to brands. That’s why a social selling approach, in which individual loan officers share branded messages on their own social media profiles, is essential. Marketers might bristle at the idea of loan officers posting, but the right tools can keep individual postings on strategy, on brand and in compliance.
    1. DRIVE INTEREST WITH PAID SOCIAL MEDIA. We all remember the early days of social media when good organic content was all it took to breakthrough, but the platforms and algorithms have changed -- and your strategy should too. Luckily social media advertising is low budget and high return. Whether it’s proximity-based ads or amplifying posts from your loan officers, paid advertising can ensure your content is served to the right people at the right time.
    1. USE CONTENT TO EDUCATE AND ENGAGE. Your institution’s content is an opportunity for your loan officers to establish trust through social media. Arm them with articles, guidebooks, blog posts, and more to help educate audiences on the unique opportunities in today’s market and how they can save a lot of money.
    1. DRIVE CONVERSIONS WITH A POST-CLICK EXPERIENCE. Don’t create a digital dead end on social media. Instead, build landing pages on your website to correspond with each of your social campaigns and create forms to capture followers’ contact information in exchange for a download. This arms your loan officers with interested leads and the details they need to take the next step. 

    With these strategies social media can help your loan officers stand out and stay competitive. Overwhelmed? Tools from Denim Social can help mortgage marketers maximize efficiency and stay compliant.



    RESOURCES

    VISION
    May 4, 2021

    3 Social Media Management Mistakes for Insurance Marketers to Avoid


    The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

    Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

    And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

    As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

    Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

    1. Letting agents fly solo.

    Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

    The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

    2. Kicking it old-school.

    Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

    What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

    3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

    When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

    Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

    Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

    It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
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    SIMILAR POSTS:

    The insurance industry is built on relationships — so much so that, before the pandemic, 90% of sales conversations and 70% of ongoing customer conversations happened face-to-face. Things today look quite different: Only 5% of agents say they’re talking to customers in person.

    Digitizing marketing operations became a top priority for companies in the insurance industry almost overnight. Not only is the landscape in the midst of significant change for nearly every customer segment, but the use of digital channels is also accelerating due to the pandemic. Some insurance companies might even take a digital-first approach to sales as a result, with consumers choosing to seek advice from advisors through video calls or live chat.

    Insurance marketers need to move beyond traditional techniques and arm agents with the tools to effectively communicate and convert prospective customers in the digital space. How to go about doing this will depend on the company as well as its target audiences, but here are a few elements for every insurance marketer to keep in mind:

    1. Never lose the human touch.

    Trust is paramount in the insurance industry, but as more customer interactions occur online, companies will have to try harder to build and maintain it. One recent Accenture survey of insurance consumers found that only 12% said they placed a lot of trust in automated services over phone, web, or email when making a claim, and only 7% said the same about chatbots. However, nearly half said they would trust a human advisor. To avoid eroding trust with digitization efforts, you must put the human element front and center in every digital interaction.

    Social media is an excellent way to do this, but we’re not only talking about a big company brand page. To establish and maintain connections via social channels, encourage advisors to use their own professional accounts. An advisor’s professional accounts generally have 10 times the reach of company profiles, and they’re also more likely to improve customer engagement, as the interactions are coming from a human rather than from a brand.

    Customers value authentic human connections: Life insurance customers who had interaction with their insurers had Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than customers who had no interaction at all.

    2. Reevaluate the customers’ digital journeys.

    Social media is the place for agents to start conversations and get prospects’ attention digitally, but it’s only the starting point in a larger customer journey. Audit the tools that agents are currently using, and assess how each individual channel contributes to the larger customer journey.

    If the majority of an agent’s social posts are just graphics or text, they’re not leading prospects anywhere — they’re just building social media dead ends. To lead prospects to the next step in a digital journey, build landing pages on your website that agents can link to in their social posts. When prospects follow the post to the landing page, they take a meaningful next step in the digital journey with your brand to engage and learn more.

    3. Personalize your approach.

    Personalization is the name of the game in digital marketing. The problem is, some insurers are more “cut-and-paste” with online interactions, sending out messages and promotions built for the masses.

    In the Accenture survey above, 66% of insurance consumers said they would be willing to share personal data for more personalized services to prevent injury and loss. With that in mind, it’s clear how a broad approach misses many potential prospects. Work toward personalizing the digital experience for a variety of target audiences by providing valuable content tailored to their specific needs and develop landing pages geared toward each of your audience sectors. It’s not a one-size-fits-all customer journey, so don’t treat it as such.

    Changing marketing tactics is no small undertaking. It requires time, resources, and know-how to do successfully. Social media management tools from Denim Social can help get agents active on social media at scale, put human faces behind the brand name, and build online customer journeys based on trust.

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    In speaking with friends, co-workers and bankers, I have come across many reasons why more of us are not effectively using social media: not enough time, concerns about compliance and lack of knowledge top the list.

    In banking, we are the relationship builders, the trusted sources and the personal interaction—whether in-person or via social, video, chat or other mediums. So how do we bridge the gap between in-person and digital interactions? How do we display our personality digitally while balancing compliance concerns? How do we personalize digital outreach and engagement through curated content and social media channels in order to educate customers and engage new prospects?

    Banks’ retail customers and business clients expect personalized experiences. Using social media in a compliant way for bankers to engage with customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. According to Denim Social, ABA’s endorsed social media management platform, building a personalized and human digital experience is key, and the best place to start doing it is on social media. Informative and educational content is a fantastic entry point into a digital journey, as it starts by engaging prospects and building trust.

    People trust people, and banks that have individual employees actively using social media on behalf of the bank’s brand are seeing results. Even when sharing the same content, on average employees see a click-through rate twice as high as their company’s own social channels see, according to LinkedIn. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed by the Harris Poll say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.

    Here’s a simple process to make social selling work in a bank context:

    • Marketing teams easily curate and share educational, compliant content in a pre-approved digital library.
    • Then employees access the approved content and share through their own, personal digital channels.
    • Approval workflows and compliance checks along the way ensure the posts meet both the bank’s compliance and branding requirements.

    Employee posts are a complement to, not a substitute for, paid social media, which enables marketers to create and target paid ads specific to demographics, geography and more. Imagine creating educational content for a demographic of first-time homebuyers. Your loan officer shares savings tips, homeownership information and educational content on their social channels, establishing expertise and developing relationships along the way. Paid ads ensure the right homebuyers see the content.

    According to IBM, when a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy, that lead is seven times more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics. Through this digital relationship, your loan officer has engaged in social selling and is reaching new markets—all without leaving the comfort of their home, their office or (these days) their home office.

    This article was originally published by ABA Bank Marketing.

    Lisa Gold Schier is an SVP at ABA, where she leads the ABA Endorsed Solutions team and business innovation.

    The insurance sales environment has been rocked by COVID-19. What was once an industry built on face-to-face relationships is now going through rapid digital transformation. In the absence of in-person meetings, social media is the best place for agents to build trust with current and prospective clients.

    Trust is the No. 1 thing insurance companies sell, after all, and a recent Edelman report shows that consumers rank brand employees as more trustworthy than brand CEOs or spokespeople. When insurance agents get in front of customers on social media, they can sell trust more effectively than brands alone.

    And customers are looking for authentic connections: One study shows that life insurance customers who connected with their insurers gave Net Promoter Scores 25 points higher than those who did not. With face-to-face meetings off the table, social media is the primary stand-in for forging those deep, connected relationships that build trust and drive referrals.

    As more agents recognize this and flock online to bring in business and build their individual professional brands, insurance marketers are tasked with scaling oversight to ensure compliance and consistent brand messaging. Considering that marketers at large companies could be looking at social strategies of thousands of agents dispersed across markets nationwide, it’s easy to see how managing the creation and publishing of owned and paid content can be incredibly time-consuming and complex.

    Despite these challenges, insurance marketers must manage social media well. So how can marketing departments handle the influx of responsibilities? Start by understanding the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

    1. Letting agents fly solo.

    Agents are busy, especially at a time when insurance needs are changing constantly. What’s more, many agents are likely jumping into social media as a professional tool for the first time: More than three-quarters of property-casualty agents are over age 50. They likely have less experience on social than their digital-native counterparts and require more guidance from marketing teams. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to encourage agents to get and stay active on social media by making this task as easy as possible for them.

    The right social media management software will allow marketers to create content libraries filled with preapproved posts. Agents can simply log in, choose which preapproved post they’d like to share, and either post it right away or schedule it to be posted later. This makes it easy for agents to access and post valuable content for their readers, and marketers will know that agents’ posts aren’t risking compliance or brand reputation.

    2. Kicking it old-school.

    Posting content and managing engagement on each individual social media platform is simply not scalable for marketers or agents today. For your team to be successful on social media, you must modernize your tools. Multichannel publishing platforms can help you effectively and efficiently create, approve, and publish content — and then manage engagement for many accounts on various platforms at once. Marketers can create approval workflows, schedule out social posts, and manage comments and other engagements, all from one central location.

    What’s more, social media management software can help ease the regulatory pressure that comes along with electronic communications. In order to prove compliance in the event of an audit, you must keep record of every branded post and engagement. If you have thousands of agents using social media on behalf of the brand, however, it’s simply impossible to keep track of it all manually. It’s time to retire the binders and invest in software that can automatically log all of your posts and replies — saving you time and keeping your team audit-ready.

    3. Being intimidated by paid social advertising.

    When brands first began using social media as a marketing tool, all it took to make a post go viral was high-quality content. While great content is certainly a necessary place to start today, platforms have since updated their algorithms to make branded content less visible overall. Despite all the work that agents and marketers put into organic social media strategies, the reach could be insignificant without the help of paid advertising.

    Paid social media advertising is a low-cost, high-return investment that will ensure branded posts land with exactly the right audiences at the right time. One of our clients, a Fortune 200 insurance company, used paid social to create one campaign that delivered click-through rates 59% higher than the financial and insurance industry average for social media and mobile advertising. And the cost-per-click was 24% less than similar campaigns.

    Yes, it’s true that managing paid campaigns can be a headache for marketers, especially if they’re dealing with multiple campaigns at the brand, agency, and agent levels. But social media management software can step in to help ease the burden, and the results are worth the investment.

    It’s understandable that agents and marketers alike might feel they’ve been tossed into the deep end as insurance saw a 180-degree shift in sales strategies almost overnight. The good news, however, is that the right tools can help you get a handle on the new demands of today to build an even stronger sales strategy for tomorrow.

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    You can’t just call yourself a “thought leader.” Thought leadership is earned, and you earn it by having a powerful voice in your domain. But how do you cultivate that voice? To answer that question, James Robert Lay of the Digital Growth Institute invited Doug Wilber, CEO at Denim Social, onto the latest episode to discuss how financial brands can create content worthy of the “thought leader” mantle.

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